Brexiteer Labour MP Kate Hoey to Stand Down at Next Election

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Kate Hoey shows her support for the 'Leave' campaign for the upcoming EU Referendum aboard a boat on the River Thames on June 15, 2016 in London, England. Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, is campaigning for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union in …
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Brexiteer Labour MP Kate Hoey, who has represented the southwest London constituency of Vauxhall since 1989, announced that she will be stepping down at the next General Election.

Ms Hoey, 73, made the announcement on Monday morning writing: “I have decided that after 30 years as MP for Vauxhall I will not seek re-election as the Labour candidate.”

“Until the next General Election I will of course continue every single day to give my all to help constituents in Vauxhall and to campaign for policies that make life better for residents. I will carry on until a General Election serving with the energy, honesty and integrity that I have tried to bring to public service my whole life.

“It remains a huge privilege to serve this special part of London. I have had wonderful staff over the years some with me for over 20 years and I thank them all for their personal support. I am profoundly grateful to those party members, local residents, community groups and trade unions with whom I have worked and campaigned over so many years.”

Defying the progressive, globalist elements that now dominate the Labour Party, Ms Hoey followed in the Eurosceptic footsteps of traditional ‘old Labour’ MPs like Michael Foot, Peter Shore, and Tony Benn, and backed Leave in the European Union membership referendum three years ago.

Despite her constituency voting 77.6 per cent in favour of Remain in the 2016 referendum, Ms Hoey retained Vauxhall with 57 per cent of the vote — a 20,250 majority — in the following year’s General Election.

An open-minded MP, Ms Hoey has reached out across the political aisle for the sake of achieving a shared goal. In 2016, she campaigned with the cross-party Leave group Grassroots Out, appearing with then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage on a boat as part of a pro-Leave flotilla on the Thames, and in 2018 shared a platform with Tory MP David Davis, and Mr Farage to campaign for a clean Brexit. She has also consistently voted with the Conservative-led government to stop attempts to soften Brexit or prevent a no-deal.

A fearless and vocal politician, the Northern Ireland native also frequently criticised the EU and Northern Ireland for scaremongering over the end of the Belfast Agreement and threatening the union of the United Kingdom, saying at a Leave Means Leave rally last year: “We didn’t spend 30 years in Northern Ireland stopping IRA terrorists killing soldiers, police, and civilians in order to get a United Ireland, [only] to allow a few jumped-up EU bureaucrats and a complicit prime minister to try and do the same thing by the back door.”

Going against the grain of establishment Labour politics, she also backs fox hunting, criticised the then-Labour government for banning private ownership of handguns after the Dunblane school massacre, is in favour of grammar schools, has been described as the least ‘gay-friendly’ of all Labour MPs, and has abstained in a number of recent Commons votes on relaxing abortion laws.

The Labour Party has begun its candidate selection for 2022, and the seat is likely to be fiercely contested by pro-Remain Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.

The far-left Labour group Momentum said in response to Ms Hoey’s plans to step down: “Kate Hoey is a no deal supporting, anti gay rights, fox hunting advocate who shared a platform with Nigel Farage. She couldn’t be more out of step with her Vauxhall constituents, and we look forward to backing a Corbyn supporting, socialist candidate in an open selection.”

The MP was subject to a no-confidence vote in summer 2018, on grounds of her pro-Brexit stance, and may have faced a reselection challenge from fellow pro-Remain Labour politicians ahead of the next election; however, Ms Hoey had made clear her intentions in the 2015 General Election to not stand again for the 2020 election, but found herself campaigning to retain her seat after Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election in 2017. Given her strong majority and conviction in face of party pressure, facing reselection was likely not Ms Hoey’s motive for Monday’s announcement.

Despite the resignation, Ms Hoey was doing the media rounds and banging the drum for standing up to the EU on Monday, telling the BBC’s Politics Live: “It looks like we’re not going to get a deal unless the EU changes its attitudes and its views, and there’s no point planning for no deal if we’re not prepared in the end to actually have a no deal… The European Union is not going to give us anything until they know that we are actually serious that we will leave [without a deal]. It will hit them far harder than it will hit us!”

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